Impression of the Wolf

Impression of the Wolf

Symbolism behind the White Wolf

We all know the famous 'White Wolf' scene in Balto, where a mysterious white wolf appears to give Balto strength and to remind him of his roots.

But the scene can be taken apart further to show more symbols in Balto's life. When I examined the scene, I found three that stood out.

The Color White
White, traditionally, symbolizes purity. This can be seen as irony, as Balto doesn't see himself as pure due to his heritage.

Some believe the color white symbolizes freedom; which is appropriate for this wolf. After meeting the wolf, Balto is 'free' of his self-loathing.

This came from Wikipedia, but can also be applied.

'A white flag is an international sign of either surrender, or truce, that is, it is a sign of peaceful intent, typically at time of war.'
In this scene, Balto's body language and face have shown he has given up.


The white wolf has been cast by some as a spirit. This makes sense. A white wolf would be more "angelic" in appearance than a black wolf, which can be viewed as a harbinger of death or despair.

Snow and Wind

The snow and wind can be considered a singular entity. Both of them work together to isolate Balto and the wolf, a concept not new to Balto since he has been isolated his entire life up to the serum run. The blizzard treats Balto with the same coldness as the dogs of Nome.

The Initial Introduction

What do I mean by this? Look at the perspective in this shot.


Look at how small Balto is in this shot. Judging by his face, Balto has many emotions going on. Fear, wonder, but more importantly, inferiority.

Let's recap from earlier, Balto is treated by Steele and his cronies as someone below them since they are pure dog. Now there is a huge pure wolf before Balto and that same feeling comes back. As a halfbreed, Balto feels inferior.

So that's what I fished out of it. Did you get anything else out of it? Comment and say so!

(Two screenshots under "White" from Balto Source. Shot from "The Initial Introduction" is from my personal collection.)

61771 visits

Report this article Report this article

Last comments

January 25, 2015
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
O' Cap'n My Cap'n!
Now THIS is, as was said earlier, an insightful" article! Not too wordy, doesn't waste time picking nits, and approaches the thematics of the movie very well! Bravo!

January 25, 2015
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
Succinct yet insightful, observant and attentive to fine points... I can't find a single fault with this article. Splendid work!

January 24, 2015
Is not currently on the site
This is awesome and my favorite article on this site! Thank for you!

April 30, 2010
Uk Female Is not currently on the site
Very nice analyzing there xD
here's something else: Apparently it's an old Inuit legend that a mysterious white wolf will appear when travellers get lost in the wilderness to help them, or something. i read it somewhere ... can't remember where lol

February 05, 2010
Canada Female Is not currently on the site
Mercury Phoenix Trust
Nice article

December 15, 2009
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Wonderful article. :howl:

November 27, 2009
Usa Is not currently on the site
No weapon can sever the soul from me
Awesome article!

August 20, 2009
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
Team Rocket
I do overanalyze things to a fault. XD Thank you! If you have anything else you want me to look at, let me know.

August 13, 2009
Usa Is not currently on the site
Well, I have to admit, never actually took it that far. Pretty deep stuff right there, nice read.

Not connected : To be able to post a message site, you must be connected.

Register on the site!

Balto reads and more

Site activity

Franšais   English

RSS      Bookmark the site      Privacy policy      39 visitors connected

Generated in 0.288 seconds

To give you the best experience, this site uses cookies. By continuing, you're giving consent to cookies being used. Learn more... Close X